RED – Retired, Extremely Dangerous

Red (2010)RED. A comedy/action flick starring the legendary Bruce Willis. Retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Willis) is drowning in the monotony of his daily life. His one bright spot is talking to his pension services representative. Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) finds her excitement in the pages of trashy romance novels and in her phone calls with Frank. When a team of mercenaries is sent to eliminate Moses, he sets off to find out why. A cross-country road trip, a kidnapping, and numerous killings/near-killings later, the stage is set for all-out war. War between Frank Moses’s reassembled team (Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox) and William Cooper (Karl Urban), backed by the entire CIA.Red (2010)

One of this movie’s (many) strengths is its all-star cast. Marvin Boggs (Malkovich) is absolutely stupendous as the team crazy. He is just as funny the 15th time around as the first. Posh British assassin Victoria (Mirren) is uber-cool too, as is her Russian ex-lover Ivan (Cox). Their rekindled romance is just too adorable for words. And of course Morgan Freeman is always, always a treat. Cooper is a phenomenal villain, both formidable and likeable. Rounding it out, we have a cameo by Ernest Borgnine – RED is an exceptionally well-cast film.Red (2010)

The action is non-stop; so too is the humor. RED also manages to maintain a certain innocence and zest for life. A clearly-defined sense of right and wrong, good guys and bad guys, sets this show apart from the rest of the pack. But I think one of the coolest things about this movie is the age of its actors. Bruce Willis and his team are all too “old” to be playing action heroes or romantic figures. But that’s not stopping them. And their experience in the film industry has made them some of the best at what they do. Added together, all these things give RED a charming old-school vibe – like the Mission Impossible TV show from the 60’s. Action, intrigues, camaraderie, glitzy galas, shoot-outs in the woods, romance, and lots and lots of automatic weapons fire. An absolutely awesome show. One that I whole-heartedly recommend for viewers of all ages.Red (2010)

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Robert A. Heinlein

Yet another Robert A. Heinlein and wife Virginia in Tahiti, 1980of my absolute favorite authors is Robert A. Heinlein. Perhaps the greatest science fiction writer ever to put pen to paper, he is certainly one of the most influential. I have not read all his books yet, but every single one I have read has been awesome. The first Heinlein book I ever read was Red Planet, his classic tale of the Martian colony, and how a boy and his pet save the day. I picked it up at our local public library when I was maybe 10 and I was instantly hooked. On both the works of Robert A. Heinlein and on sci-fi stories.

I think what I like best about his stories is how the hero is always someone you can root for. His heroes are flawed, and they do make mistakes, but their heart is always in the right place. It might be a touch old-fashioned, but that’s exactly how I like it. Of course, good characters are meaningless without a good plot and a brilliantly-crafted world to put them in. Mr. Heinlein delivers that in spades. His stories never fail to delight and enthrall.

I also admire Mr. Heinlein for his courage and boldness. He was not afraid to address social problems and themes in his books; in fact the opposite is true. Three themes in particular show up frequently in his work: personal liberty and self-reliance, a complete lack of racism, and the importance of freedom of thought and philosophy. (A sub-theme of personal liberty, the right to bear arms also makes several appearances in his stories.) Considering that most of his books were published in the 40’s and 50’s, this is a rather remarkable feat. Mr. Heinlein seems to me to have been an unusual paradox in his thinking – both ahead of his time and a throwback to another era. For fun, escapist reading with a sound political worldview, you can’t do much better than a Robert A. Heinlein book, especially one of his early novels targeted at young readers.Robert A. Heinlein

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Favorite Roy Rogers Songs

Roy Rogers SongsWith the understanding that this may very well change as my CD collection grows, here is an alphabetical list of my top 25 Roy Rogers songs. Unsurpassed in tone and talent, I’ll listen to anything he recorded, but these 25 are the ones I turn to over and over. I think one of the reasons I love Roy’s music so much is its positive message, fun sound, and exquisite beauty. He is truly one of the greats.

  • Alive and Kickin’ (Roy’s way of saying thanks to his fans, this song sums up a lifetime of happiness in a few verses.)
  • Along the Navajo Trail (Similar in feel to “Blue Shadows” and every bit as beautiful, this song is definitely one of his best.)
  • Blue Shadows on the Trail (From Disney’s Melody Time, this hauntingly beautiful song is one of my very favorites. Probably in my top 3.)
  • Born to the Saddle (To me, this song is Roy Rogers.)
  • Cool Water (I’ve heard 2 versions of this song; 1 with Roy taking lead vocals, the other with Bob Nolan in the lead. Both are awesome.)
  • Don’t Fence Me In (Not many people love Roy’s music and movies the way I do; but my dad does almost as much and this is one of his favorite songs too.)
  • Dust (First recorded in the 1930’s, when the Dust Bowl was devastating the West, this plaintive melody sends shivers down my spine.)
  • Happy Trails (Roy and Dale’s most famous song; my favorite version is the one on his Tribute)
  • Headin’ for Texas and Home (An upbeat celebration of cowboy life, this song is sure to bring a smile.)
  • Here’s Hopin’ (A prayer, a wish, and good advice all rolled into one, this song is a beautiful melody with beautiful lyrics. Duet with Randy Travis.)
  • Hi Ho Silver (After Trigger, Silver is probably the most famous cowboy horse, and this fun song is all about him.)
  • Hold On Partner (I could listen to this song over and over again – the music video is loads of fun too. Duet with Clint Black.)
  • Hold That Critter Down (Another one of my dad’s favorites, this song is a toe-tapping sing-along.)
  • It’s Home Sweet Home to Me (From Roy and the Sons of the Pioneers early days, this track is both sweet and fun.)
  • King of the Cowboys (Actually a Roy “Dusty” Rogers Jr. song, this one is about who Roy was, how he became the King of the Cowboys, and a tribute to his life.)
  • Lovenworth (A fun song promoting faithfulness and the beauty of family, this song is one of my very favorites.)
  • My Chickashay Gal (This song is on the very first Roy Rogers CD I ever owned and was my first favorite.)
  • Rodeo Road (Seldom do 2 voices fit as well together as Roy’s and Willie Nelson’s do on this great song.)
  • Roll On Texas Moon (A catchy tune and fun lyrics make this one a joy to listen to.)
  • San Fernando Valley (Ditto.)
  • Tennessee Stud (Guaranteed to get both my dad and my little brother singing along, this ballad fits Roy’s heavenly voice like no other.)
  • (There’ll Never Be Another) Pecos Bill (Another Melody Time song, this one is a hit with everyone – even those who aren’t fans of his other songs.)
  • When Payday Rolls Around (It’s hard to sit still listening to this song; I like to play it when I’m exercising.)
  • When the Golden Train Comes Down (With solo parts by several of the Sons of the Pioneers, I can’t help smiling when I listen to this song – especially since you can hear them smiling as they sing.)
  • Yellow Rose of Texas (Roy’s awesome voice does ample justice to this well-known classic.)

 

Are there any other Roy and Sons of the Pioneers fans out there? If so, what are your favorite Roy Rogers songs? Roy Rogers Songs

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August Rush

August RushAugust Rush, released in 2007 and starring the incredibly talented Freddie Highmore, has just become one of my favorite movies. It tells the heartwarming story of Evan Taylor (Highmore), an orphan growing up in a boys’ home who dreams of finding his parents. He hears music where no one else does – in the wind, in the rain, in the sounds of nature, in the sound of traffic, in the noise of the city – he hears music everywhere and in everything. It is his belief that if he could just learn to play the music he hears, that his parents would hear it and come August Rushfind him.

His parents are classical cellist Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell) and rock ’n’ roll frontman Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). They met on a magical night and felt an immediate connection. Come daylight and they are cruelly torn apart. Nine months later, Evan enters the picture. Due to complications, he doesn’t survive. At least that’s what Lyla’s father tells her. Between the heartbreak of leaving Louis and now the pain of losing their child, the grief is too much for her. She leaves New York and gives up on her music. Meanwhile, Louis is going through a similar struggle on the opposite end of the country. He ends up fighting with his bandmates and walking away.August Rush

Evan, convinced that his parents are out there and that they still want him, decides to take matters into his own hands. Numerous escapades ensue. Robin Williams enters the picture as ‘Wizard,’ a bizarre former street performer who takes Evan into his band of young street musicians. A police raid, an escape, finding shelter in a church,a stage name (August Rush) and a scholarship to Juilliard. These are just a few of Evan’s adventures in his quest to find his parents. How his quest ends – well, you’ll just have to watch August Rush and find out for yourself.

P.S. Watch for an appearance by Alex O’Loughlin, before his fame as Steve McGarrett of Hawaii Five-0.August Rush

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Meant To Be

These past few months of living on my own have taught me so much about myself and life – more than I ever thought possible. One of the things I have come to realize with startling clarity is that what is meant to be, will be. The importance of waiting. That everything will fall into place in due time.

This truth has played out in my life in countless ways in the events of this past year. Each instance more awe-inspiring than the last. And of course what they say about hindsight being 20/20 is dead right. Things I didn’t understand at the time make so much sense now. The times things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to and also the times things went perfectly right.

I think too many times we’re in a hurry and force things to happen the way we want it and when we want it. I now know, beyond all doubt, that this is a mistake. If something is meant to be, it will be. And it will be what it will be in its own time. Making things happen on our terms only creates more problems.

Now I’m not by any means suggesting that we should just sit back and let life happen to us. Far from it! I believe in doing, not just dreaming. That life is what we make of it. But when we have to force our life to go in a certain direction, then the time is not yet right. What we want – or rather what we need – is on the other side of a closed door. We have to get up and open the door, but if we find ourselves trying to kick it in, then maybe we aren’t meant to be opening that particular door at this particular moment in our lives. The trick is learning how to tell if the door is truly locked or if it’s just stuck. And that knowledge only comes with experience.meant to be

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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

A classic golden-age musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a rousing good time. Set in Oregon territory during pioneer days, it tells the story of the seven Pontipee brothers and their quest to find brides. They have to compete with the men in town for the few eligible young ladies; the remoteness of their mountain farm puts them at a disadvantage. Their rugged good looks and skill on the dance floor even the odds.

The adventure begins when oldest brother Adam (Howard Keel) goes into town on his yearly trading trip. Besides laying in a year’s worth of supplies, he intends to find a wife and take her back with him. To the horror of the married women and chagrin of the single men, he is successful. Young, strong, and beautiful to boot, Millie (Jane Powell) is just what he’s looking for. Little does she know what she’s letting herself in for.

Adam takes his bride home, her head full of sweet dreams of marital bliss. To her surprise and dismay, she discovers that the wife of Adam Pontipee is also expected to be a surrogate mother to his six scroungy siblings. Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank, and Gideon aren’t much to look at when she arrives and their manners are worse, but she rolls up her sleeves and goes to it with a will. Determined to clean up the place and the boys, she forces them to bathe, shave, and help her around the house. She also teaches them proper etiquette and sees to it that they attend the local social events like barn raisings.

It’s at their first barn raising that the fun really begins. The local girls evince an obvious preference for these beefy, handsome backwoodsmen. This pits the Pontipees against the young townsmen – first in a dance-off, then in an all-out brawl. This is probably the best scene in the whole movie and certainly the most fun. Battered but victorious, they return home, their loneliness matched only by the townsfolks’ dislike. In an attempt to lift his brothers’ spirits, Adam concocts a plan to reunite them with their lady loves. His harebrained scheme draws the proverbial line in the sand, pitting the townsfolk against the Pontipees, the girls against the boys, and Milly against Adam. How the final showdown plays out is both hilarious and sweetly romantic. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a beloved classic musical for good reason.

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New Year 2018

As I look back on this past year, I am reminded of how good God is and how amazing life can be. So many things have happened and so much has changed. I’ve grown as a person in more ways than I can count. I’ve learned that not everyone is as honest as I am. But also that most people are good for the most part. I’ve discovered that it is really cool to be one of the popular ones. I have found that if you work hard and keep a cheerful attitude, success is the natural result. Especially if you are working at a job that you love and that you were meant to do. I’ve made new friends and had new experiences. I have learned that I like thousand island dressing. And that I don’t need anyone else to be complete. I feel like I have found something that I was missing – I don’t know exactly what, or how to describe it, but I feel whole again. Never in my wildest dreams could I ever have imagined where I would be this New Year’s. Nor did I ever think I would be this happy, this fulfilled, this content with who I am. 2017 has truly been an awesome, incredible year for me. I look forward with much anticipation to 2018.

My New Year’s resolutions are few and simple:

  • To spend less, to save more.
  • To try to get back into the habit of working out.
  • To write with something resembling regularity.
  • And to continue enjoying every minute of this crazy, beautiful, amazing thing called life.

 

Whether your 2017 was good or bad or somewhere in between, may your 2018 be awesome and blessed and crazy and delicious and everything you hope it will be. Happy New Year, y’all!2018

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Loving This New Life

Wow. Hard to believe it’s November already. How time does fly. Especially when you are as busy as my new life has been here lately. I’ve been working two full-time jobs for a while now, which left little time for anything except sleeping. Precious little time even for that. But it’s been good. And one job just gave me a promotion and a raise, so the other has been downgraded to part-time. Which has given me more time for sleeping and catching up on other things as well.

I’m loving this new life that I’m building for myself. It’s been a really long time since I have been this happy. My job is fulfilling in a way I didn’t know work could be. I feel like I am where I’m meant to be. As it turns out, where I’m meant to be is a grocery store – which isn’t a career that I ever considered when thinking about my future. But I absolutely love it. What’s funny is that my dad used to work at a grocery store. Which I had forgotten until he reminded me of it. It just feels right, you know? Like everything has come full circle, as if this were meant to be. I don’t believe in coincidence or things happening by chance. I believe everything happens for a reason.

Aside from work, my new life is amazing. I’m fully enjoying my new-found freedom. My take-charge, independent personality really needed it. Even I didn’t realize how much until I actually experienced it for myself. It’s like life was stifling me before and now I can breathe freely. It’s amazing and wonderful and exhilarating. I feel like I have truly found myself these past few months. Like something was missing and I didn’t even realize it. I don’t exactly know how to describe it, but, for the first time in a long time, I feel complete.new life

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Newsboys Exercise Playlist

newsboysThe Newsboys are probably my most favoritest Christian band ever. They are certainly my favorite band to play when I’m exercising. If I were to describe their music in 3 words, I’d say it’s happy, fun, and infectious. Their pop-rock rhythm doesn’t hurt either. (Let me clarify one thing: when I say “Newsboys,” I am referring to the pre-Michael Tait years. Nothing against Michael Tait, I love this new line-up almost as much as the original, but, to me, it’s not really the Newsboys anymore. It’s a new band with a new sound – and I grew up on Peter Furler and John James.)

My Newsboys exercise playlist includes 21 of their best tracks – set to shuffle, it’s almost 80 minutes of pure fun and energy. Crank it up!

  • Beautiful Sound (The title says it all.)
  • Belly of the Whale (Listen carefully to this one – the wordplay is clever and fast.)
  • Breakfast (Another clever song, this fun tune is about my favorite meal of the day.)
  • Entertaining Angels (A bit slower than most of the songs on this list and featuring a vocal solo by guitarist Phil Joel, this one is achingly beautiful.)
  • Good Stuff (The only song on this list that’s not on the Newsboys Ultimate Collection set.)
  • He Reigns (Catchy and fun to sing along to; Newsboys at their finest.)
  • I Fought the La. . . (Hilarious and goofy – but with real meaning behind the crazy lyrics.)
  • I’m Not Ashamed (Every Christian should listen to this song, believe it, and live it.)
  • It Is You (Another slow one, but still an awesome song.)
  • Joy (Absolutely my favoritest Newsboys song ever!)
  • Love Liberty Disco (A celebration of the freedom and love found in being part of the family of God.)
  • Million Pieces (Little kids love to sing along to this one.)
  • Shine (Quintessential Newsboys; possibly their most famous song.)
  • Something Beautiful (The rhythm hooks you, the lyrics hold you.)
  • Spirit Thing (Masters of wordplay, this is another example of the Newsboys’ unsurpassed cleverness.)
  • Step Up to the Microphone (Boldly proclaims what we believe.)
  • Take Me to Your Leader (Perhaps their cleverest and definitely their fastest-sung song of all – listen newsboysclose.)
  • Wherever We Go (Party song to end all party songs.)
  • Who? (A definitive statement of faith set to an unbeatable rock track.)
  • Woohoo (You have to sing along to this one.)
  • You Are My King (A slower-tempo love song to the One who loved us first.)

 

P.S. This is also a great soundtrack for cleaning day. Enjoy!

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Big City, Country Girl

big cityDirt Road Princess moves to the big city. Now there’s a headline for you. Or perhaps not – I suppose country girls move to the big city all the time. But it’s kind of a big deal for me. Moving away from home for the first time is always a big deal. More so, perhaps, for a late bloomer such as myself. Particularly when moving from the country to the big city. This experience is certainly stretching me in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

The big city is, well, big. There really is no other way to describe it. Everything about it is big. Especially when you’re a lone pedestrian. Fortunately, just about everything I could ever need is right here in my own little corner of the city. Several within walking distance. And this city has a good public transit system so I can get to those places not in walking distance. Exploring my own little corner of the city has been a blast. Finding work was certainly an interesting experience and not half so difficult as I expected. Particularly for a hard-working country girl such as myself.

Living alone felt rather weird for the first couple days, but I very quickly got used to it. Being my own woman is quite an empowering experience. Now that I’ve gotten a taste of independence, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give it up. I can do what I want, when I want, and how I want. I can make my own choices but I am also 100% responsible for the consequences of my choices. It’s a brand-new sensation – and I think I like it. I’m learning new things about myself, about life, and about other people. Just about every day offers a new experience or new information and it’s exhilarating. Makes me wonder “Why didn’t I do this years ago?”

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Moon Maid Trilogy

Well, I was wrong. Not all of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books have the same feel – his Moon Maid trilogy is a notable exception. The Moon Maid, first of the set, is kinda like his other books, but not quite; The Moon Men and The Red Hawk are radically different from his usual style. Moon Men, in particular – it’s almost a post-apocalyptic thriller. One of the primary differences from his usual work is that books 2 and 3 are set in North America, albeit reimagined as being under the oppressive rule of savage invaders from the moon.

This series is also different in that the 3 stories happen hundreds of years apart, not back-to-back about the same hero as most of his series do. He wrote The Moon Men first, and it wasn’t originally about Lunar, but Communist invaders. First written in 1918, when the Bolshevik Revolution was so recent as to not even be part of history yet, “Under the Red Flag” was rejected by editors 11 times. So he sat down one day and rewrote it, turning Bolshevists into Kalkars from the moon. A few months later, he’d written both a prequel and a sequel and all 3 had been published – in the proper order, of course.

In The Moon Maid, Earth has finally discovered space travel and the first spaceship is sent out with a crew of 5: Julian 5th, Orthis, and 3 others. Through Orthis’s treachery, they crash-land on the moon – or rather inside it, where they find a strange world. A somewhat typical Burroughs story follows; capture and escape; Orthis allies himself with the “evil” race, Julian with the “good;” Julian falls in love with Nah-ee-lah, the maiden of the title; and Julian, Nah-ee-lah, and the 3 other crew members repair the ship and return to earth.

About 100 years later, Julian 9th (Julian 5th’s great-great-grandson) lives in what used to be Chicago under the oppressive rule of the Kalkars. In the introduction to The Moon Men, we learn that Orthis helped his allies the Kalkars build a fleet of spaceships with which to attack earth. Under Kalkar rule, everyone is “equal,” no one owns anything, marriage is illegal, and freedom is a thing of the past. Julian 9th leads a rebellion that ends in the slaughter of those who fight with him and his own death, but not before he gets his pregnant wife to safety. This sets the stage for the 3rd and final installment of the Julian saga.

Another 300 years pass before the events of The Red Hawk occur; Julian 20th is the great chief of the Julian clans and is known as the Red Hawk. During the intervening 300 years, the “Yanks,” as the Kalkars derisively call them, have driven their oppressors ever westward until their backs are to the Pacific Ocean. Here, in California, the Kalkars have held the tribe of the Julians at bay for 100 years. The Julians are a tribe of 100 clans living in the Mojave Desert. What used to be the United States is now a vast wilderness dotted with “ancient” ruins and peopled by various tribes whose social structure and culture is very much like Indian tribal culture. When Julian 19th dies and Red Hawk becomes chief, he determines to drive them into the sea and end this nearly-500-year-long feud. How he goes about this, allying himself to descendants of Orthis and even falling in love with an “Or-Tis” along the way, is the story told in the final book, which I think is my favorite of this awesome trilogy.

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Koss Pro4S Headphones – A Review

Koss Pro4SLet me preface this review by saying that, prior to this purchase, I had never spent more than $20 on a pair of headphones. I am not any sort of expert on audio equipment – I consider myself an “aspiring audiophile.” Also, I bought the Koss Pro4S for casual listening, not for any kind of professional use.

First, the backstory. For several years, I’ve been using the Koss UR23iK headphones. They were my favorites for a number of reasons – a comfortable over-ear design, excellent sound quality (for the price), a relatively sleek profile, and an easily affordable price point. I wear glasses and finding comfortable headphones was a struggle until I discovered Koss and their unique over-ear D profile design. The only thing I didn’t like about the UR23iK was the lack of portability. I really wanted a good pair of headphones with a protective carrying case. My search led me to the Koss Pro4S. Here’s six awesome reasons why they are my new favorite headphones.

  • The same D profile as the UR23iK only with softer cushions and a padded headband. The Koss Pro4Scomfort level is unbelievable.
  • With a combination of metal and plastic parts, this is one sturdy pair of headphones. The metal components add a bit more weight than I’m used to, but it is more than worth it for the durability. I have gone through half a dozen pairs of all-plastic headphones in the past 15 years.
  • I love the coiled cable (no tangles!) and the dual choice entry. The pass-through feature is pretty cool too. The cable is thick and sturdy, not flimsy like some. And, if I want, I can use a different cable – longer, shorter, straight, whatever I need.
  • They look good too – sleek and clean, classic yet edgy and modern. The black and silver is very sharp.
  • The sturdy padded case is awesome. I can toss them in a bag or backpack and take them with me when I’m traveling or on the go.
  • Most importantly, the sound quality is phenomenal. Music is crisp, clear, and beautiful. I feel like I’m sitting in the middle of a live performance. The headphones don’t get in the way of the music – they just carry it. Being studio headphones, they are designed to give the most accurate sound, not to enhance the bass or anything else. I know some people don’t like that feature but it was a major selling point for me.

Koss Pro4S

In conclusion, the Koss Pro4S is hands-down the best pair of headphones I have ever used. Worth every penny and more. My search for the perfect pair of headphones has ended for good.

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The Mark of Zorro

The Mark of ZorroWritten in ink, etched in stone, or carved in a man’s flesh, the letter “Z” can mean only one thing: Zorro has struck again. Wonderfully portrayed by Tyrone Power in 1940’s black and white classic The Mark of Zorro, the Mexican vigilante is a hero for the ages. Playing the role of the fop, the fool, the coward, Diego Vega is never suspected of being the masked swordsman fighting for justice. Son of Alejandro Vega, former alcalde of the district of Los Angeles, Diego returns home after an extended stay in Spain to find his hometown greatly changed.

Forced out of office by the avaricious yet bumbling Luis Quintero and his dastardly henchman Capitan Esteban Pasquale, the elder Vega still refuses to lead a revolt against them. His son holds no such scruples. Dressed all in black, complete with black mask, he aids the weak and oppressed and opposes those who abuse their power. The weak and cowardly Quintero soon fears for his life and decides to flee the country. Pasquale, being made of firmer stuff, is determined to destroy Zorro.

Diego’s act fools his own parents and even Friar Felipe, his boyhood mentor. In between terrorizing Quintero and robbing the rich to aid the poor, he still finds time to romance the current alcalde’s wife Inez – with 2 ulterior motives. First, it allows him to dazzle her with stories of the Spanish court’s grandeur and she in turn begs her husband to take her away from this provincial life and back to civilization. Secondly, it brings him closer to the true object of his affections: Quintero’s niece Lolita. Lolita, being smitten with Zorro’s courageThe Mark of Zorro and heroism, has no time for the foppish Diego Vega. How he wins her heart, defeats the villainous tyrants, and proves himself to his father is classic Hollywood at its best. Filled with adventure, humor, and romance, and capped off with a rousing ending, The Mark of Zorro is a classic the whole family will enjoy.

(P. S. If you can find it, watch the colorized version. The color brings out details that are easy to miss in the black and white original.)

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Birthday Musings

birthday musingsAnother birthday has come and gone. Seems like that happens more and more frequently. It’s fitting, I think, that this particular birthday should come right at this particular juncture in my life. Right at the crossroads of my past and my future. Caught in the middle of who I am and who I will be. Straddling the fence that separates the familiar from the unknown. I’ve put in my time and paid my dues, yet somehow there is still a shadow of guilt and a specter of anxiety lurking in the dark corners of my mind. But there are other emotions crowding and pushing to the front of my mind so that I hardly notice the phantom twins.

I am both excited and slightly petrified when I consider the future. But isn’t that how all the best experiences make us feel? Anything worth doing is going to call out a strong emotional response. Whenever I am doing or contemplating doing something important, I get both butterflies and a nauseated feeling. And that’s how this crossroads is making me feel. I’m learning that that’s how life goes. Change is inevitable, as are the emotions that accompany it. The only thing we control is which emotions are dominant. I’ve pushed the negative ones to the back and allowed the positives to take center stage, but it could very easily have gone the other way. Of course, since this change is of my own making, it was easier than it could have been. Some days, it’s still a struggle.

It’s the waiting that’s starting to get under my skin now. I’ve never been very good at waiting for anything and this seems particularly hard. Probably because it is such a big deal. My current stress levels are considerably higher than they probably should be. As it happens, there are a couple other big things happening in my life right now and it looks like they are all on a collision trajectory. My whole life is going to explode with big things happening in the very near future – probably all in the same week. And for now, all I can do is watch. And try not to get too stressed out. So far, I am keeping things in control. I pray I can manage that for just a few more weeks.

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